Saturday, October 17, 2009

Full of Challenges

So yesterday was my birthday, Hello 36. I am actually closer to 40 then 30 now ... YIKES! I think I heard, 40 is the new 30 ... if I did not hear that I am declaring it NOW!
Aaron has challenged me to create 30 goals / things to do this year ... I now have 364 days to complete the challenge. Which I cannot complete until I have created the list, so less then 364 - gee-ze I am already putting pressure on myself! I figure i have a long plan ride ahead of me that will provide an excellent opportunity to create the list, and I will only loose 6 days, which leaves me with 359 days to complete 36 goals ... I think the first 7 will include visits to Greece and Turkey. That might be cheating?? I will pray on that ...

The past two days have been amazing ... Northview is in the midst of a Church Wide Spiritual Growth Campaign ... "RESET" - the idea is to push the reset button on our assumptions about Jesus. This study is designed to challenge us in our expectations and discover (or rediscover) our own beliefs about Jesus.
Along with this study, our life group meets weekly - each week we get a challenge. This week it was to go to a cemetery and listen to a podcast.
Let me begin with the receiving of the challenge - last Saturday I completely broke down - big tears and I think a couple of those loud heaves that happened when you are trying not to cry - none the less, it was all brought on by the fact that I have not been to the Cemetery since we buried Jeremy... I was not expecting that reaction AT ALL! But the group handled it well, and we moved on. Our life group is simply AMAZING!! So on Thursday, the 15th, I was looking for pants for Aaron and was being pulled to Oak Lawn Memorial Gardens (96th and Allisonville) ... where Jeremy is buried. Aaron met me, we parked by his plot, and listened to the podcast. It was a great lesson and I actually felt quite peaceful with the visit.
Then yesterday, before going out to dinner, Aaron and I went to Northview for the Prayer Experience. .... The Reset Prayer Experience will take place Oct. 14 - 25 at Northview. It's designed to be a simple, personal prayer journey with an audio guide to help you engage with God. It's great for those who have never prayed, or for those who pray everyday. It's designed to last about an hour, but you can take as much time as you'd like.
WOW WOW WOW. I learned that I have been harboring bitterness regarding loosing Jeremy. I also learned that I have been carrying around more baggage about how I have felt that I must have displeased God and he is punishing me ... but I have the physical act of nailing that to the cross - I released those feelings I was holding on to - it was an excellent physical act that I did not even know that I needed to to. Those feelings were DEEP - and they sprung up unexpected - but what a weight that has gone with them being exposed.

As I finished the experience, a new friend approached me, (new as in I just met her last night!) she shared with me how the video testimony Aaron and I shared had helped a friend of hers. She was so thankful for our openness and willingness to share our journey - what a word of confirmation that the Lord uses all things for good.
The experiences were humbling and healing - I am so thankful for both of these challenges this week.

Turn your eyes to behold ME. Look away from sordid surroundings, from lack of beauty, from the imperfections in yourselves and those around you. Then you who have the Faith-Vision will see all you could and do desire in Me.
In your unrest behold My calm, My rest. In your impatience, My unfailing patience. In your lack and limitation, My Perfection. Looking at Me you will grow like Me, until men say to you, too, that you have been with Jesus.
As you grow like Me you will be enabled to do the things I do, and greater works then these shall ye do because I go unto My Father.
From that place of abiding limited by none of humanity's limitations I can endue you with the all-conquering, all miracle-working Power of your Divine Brother and Ally.

Healing continues to take place, even when I am unaware ... GOD IS GOOD!


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